Ivy Tripp is US songwriter Katie Crutchfield’s third LP under the Waxahatchee moniker. But even though Crutchfield runs the show, Ivy Tripp regularly slips into full band mode. On a lyrical level, Crutchfield doesn’t strive for a polythematic quality; she’s here to sing about love, heartbreak and longing. This focus allows Crutchfield to zero in on the nuances of attraction and assume a range of contrasting viewpoints.
While Crutchfield’s not an exceptionally crafty guitarist or far-reaching melodist, Ivy Tripp successfully carries out a variety of stylistic excursions. There’s turbocharged Alanis Morissette power-pop (Under A Rock), Postal Service-like square-eyed emo (La Loose and Stale By Noon), fuzzy beach-pop (The Dirt) and stark Cat Power-esque minimalism (Blue). Although the emphasis on stylistic fluidity leads to some less effective maneuvers (the lolling Air awkwardly recalls Blink-182’s ‘mature’ phase), it’s not a fragmented listen. Crucially, unity stems from Crutchfield’s no-polish vocal whine and her suffusing lyrical sentiment.
Ivy Tripp’s narrator is hyper-romantic and prone to dazed infatuation. She also understands that one’s love life will never reach a state of enduring bliss, but this realisation won’t stifle love’s dazzling highs or crushing lows.